In Memory of “B-Squared”
“B-Squared” – Bill Bechhold
Regular readers of this blog will have noted the frequent “Hat Tips” to “B-Squared” for material he had provided. Our general policy on the blog is not to identify contributors by their names as a small measure of privacy protection, public figures such as Steven Hayward being an exception.
Early last week got the sad news that “B-Squared” passed away suddenly and certainly unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism. The “B-Squared” handle was his own shorthand for his initials – B.B., as in Bill Bechhold. His wry humor is evident in his “handle”.
I never met him in person but corresponded with him for quite a number of years, dating back to my original blog, “The Frog Blog of Louis la Vache” which I started when I was living in France. When I returned to the U.S., I settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and the blog morphed into San Francisco Bay Daily Photo. At the time, Bill was writing the Fort Lauderdale Daily Photo. I became a regular reader of that blog because I liked his ability to find “Floriduh Man” subjects before “Floriduh Man” became “a thing” around the internet.
Among the humorous things on his blog was the photo of a Yugo, the most notoriously unreliable car ever built. The pictured Yugo was the Staff Limousine for Fort Lauderdale Daily Photo. The Yugo became a running joke between Bill and I and when he closed the Ft.LDF blog, he “willed” the Yugo to me. To keep the joke running, I appointed another contributor and friend, “Dr. Mc”, who is, in fact, a neurologist as this blog’s official Staff Neurologist. Thus this blog became the world’s only blog with a full time neurologist on staff. As one of “Dr.Mc’s” perks, we awarded him exclusive use of the Yugo as his Staff Limousine. (“Dr.Mc” is also our Official Resident Irishman.)
“Dr. Mc’s” Yugo Limousine, a wood burning model, passed on to us by “B-Squared”.
Bill forwarded material to me daily, material that became “fodder” for the political component of this blog along with abundant material for The Friday Funnies. He was also a true Gear Head. I looked forward to Tuesdays because after reading our “Gear Head Tuesday” post, he would forward a collection of photos of cars. Some of these photos became the starting point for another “Gear Head” post, the Jaguar Supersonic being an example.
“B-Squared” sent this photo of the 1954 Jaguar Supersonic that resulted in a
“Gear Head Tuesday” post about the car.
Bill was enough of a “Gear Head” that he named his Golden Labrador puppy “Enzo” as in Enzo Ferrari.
“Enzo” as a very young puppy (above) and now, at 13 months, below:
Bill’s wife, Barbara, was kind enough to send me an e-mail from Bill’s e-mail account letting me know of his sudden passing. They had just purchased a travel van. He had driven it home, sat down in his chair in his home office, then the embolism struck and took his life.
It means a lot to me that Barbara was kind enough to reach out in this difficult-for-her time. She also took the time to write this about them as a couple. I wish I could adequately thank her for all of this:
“Born and raised in Cleveland but spent a lot of winters in Fort Lauderdale as his parents were in their 40’s when he was born. He started school in the fall in Cleveland and then came down to Florida and went to Pinecrest. He finished high school in Cleveland at Gilmour Academy. Went to Ohio University and then talked his way into grad school at Case Western. He convinced Case Western to take a chance on him……if he did not have all A’s & B’s at the end of the first term he would leave…..needless to say he went on to graduate.
I met him just before his 40th birthday at the YMCA. He used to tell people that we were the only heterosexual couple to ever meet at the Fort Lauderdale YMCA. I have 3 daughters from my first marriage, Laura, Meredith and Christina. We talked of marriage but we did not marry until after his mom passed away and all my children were basically out of the house. Bill was living with his mother and caring for her (meals, laundry, driving her around, etc.) when I met him and realized marriage would have to come after mom.
My daughters have given us 3 grandchildren, a boy and two girls. Oldest girl, Madison, 17+, boy, Parker, 12 and his sister, Alyssa, 9.
We had a weekend house on Cudjoe Key where we spent many hours fishing, boating, enjoying rum and rebuilding our house 3-4 times as the result of hurricanes. We loved the Keys.
Another saying of Bill’s was “people retire and move south, we retired (Fort Lauderdale) and moved north (Harbor Springs, Michigan)
He bought lots of “toys” to help him with his new passion….having a vegetable garden which got bigger every year. Started his first garden in 2012 and had also planted tulips, zinnias, sunflowers and morning glories. Became very good at growing hard neck garlic. He had already purchased his seeds for this year’s garden.
He wanted us to travel and that is why he purchased the travel leisure van. Like everything else he did…..he studied up on it, researched it and then read the manual on line several times before he flew to Dayton to pick it up. All I can say is that he got to drive it. I drove it 10 feet in our driveway because I had to move it after his death……we would have really loved traveling it.”
We already miss “B-Squared”. Rest In Peace. Here’s a final Hat Tip for you!
Barbara and Bill Bechhold